Five Texan Questions with Brad Kellner


There’s no more exciting time to be a Houston Texans fan. Free agency is coming next week and the NFL draft is coming in less than two months. The conversation about the Texans is also heating up on the airwaves. Brad Kellner (@BradKellner) is one of the co-hosts of The Wheelhouse on FM 97.5 in Houston. His co-hosts have joined us for five questions, so now let’s close the trio ahead of these exciting events.

With the Scouting Combine in the rearview mirror, most of the conversation was about the draft, but we also touched on free agency time next week. The Texans are open to business and it’s taken some time for fans to be this excited about the team’s future.

Battle Red Blog: With the Scouting Combine in your rearview mirror, where do you stand on these four prominent quarterbacks? Let’s say your number one is taken first. Who is your fallback option?

Brad Kellner: Man…it’s easy to see why so many people are excited about this quarterback class. All four of these guys possess a number of qualities that give reason to believe they can succeed at the next level. Bryce Young is the top dog for me. I didn’t pay too much attention to what he weighed at the combine, but that he’s over 200 pounds isn’t nearly bad. He’s the guy I want for the Texans and I don’t think that will change until April 27th. When he’s not on the board, things get a little murky. From this moment on, CJ Stroud would be my fallback option. Anthony Richardson’s potential is amazing, but a project like him doesn’t make sense where the Texans are right now. I’m growing on Will Levis, but he’s still not quite up to second place in my little-respected QB rankings.

BRB: Does the combine influence your opinion of some guys one way or the other? Does anything of value come out of the combine, or is it just theater?

BK: It does. The combine is never the most important element of my reviews, but I use it as an adjunct to what I’m looking at in a prospect. To me, the drills on the field mean more than what happens on the sidelines (40, bench, vertical jump, etc.). I want to see the QBs throw with dozens of NFL scouts and executives watching like a hawk. I want to see WRs run routes, DBs do the “M” drill and EDGE rushers do the three-cone drill with the eyes of a nation watching. The combine is far from the only thing that matters, but it’s definitely something that does.

BRB: Let’s say you get your man in second place (or one). Who do you have in 12th place? Do you charge on offense or balance the draft between offense and defense?

BK: That’s probably a cop out, but it all depends on how the first 11 picks go. In a perfect world, this WR class would be a little more top-heavy. That’s the position I really want Texans to address. I’m all about designing a QB and then doing whatever it takes to make life as easy as possible for your young QB. Check out Cincinnati and Jacksonville. These teams drafted QBs with premium picks and almost immediately surrounded them with outside talent. It works out. I would be comfortable with Jordan Addison or Jaxon Smith-Njigba at 12. Speaking of my perfect world, if the Texans could trade down a few spots, nab an extra pick or two, and still end up with one of these guys? We cook with fish fat.

BRB: The free agency period starts on Monday, but that’s a much longer process than just the first week. In the end, what’s a win for the Texans? Which positions are an absolute must in the free agency?

BK: Texans can’t go cheap shopping this offseason. The last two periods of free agency have been borderline pathetic for Nick Caserio…that can’t be allowed to happen again. Yes, you can find good items at Goodwill or the Salvation Army, but you can’t build an entire wardrobe out of them. You have to go out and buy something good; not just a few things that someone no longer wanted. The good news is that the Texans have a lot more money to spend than they have in the last two offseasons. They also have a respected manager that players across the league seem to want to play for. Because of all the design capital the Texans possess, there is no such thing as a “must have” position in the vacant hands. With that said, I’ll give you a position on each side of the ball that I wouldn’t mind Texans spending money on. C and DT. There are some talented veterans available in those spots that I think would pair well with the young talent that the Texans already have and will get in the NFL draft.

BRB: The teams come in first place every year. Do you see that as a remote possibility for the Texans? If not, what would be your measure of success for DeMeco Ryans in its freshman year?

BK: Is it a remote possibility? Sure… but we’re talking remote Easter Island. The QB the Texans Draft would have to come in and have an impact on Justin Herbert levels and the AFC South would have to be just as bad if not worse than 2022. If we’re talking about the success of 2023, the eye exam means a lot to me. I want this team to look well trained for what feels like forever. I want this team to play physically and with discipline. I want a QB to develop into someone who looks like they belong in that league. I want guys like Derek Stingley Jr. and Kenyon Green to show why they got drafted where they were. That being said, this is a results-driven business. I can’t sit here and say that eye tests are the only thing that matters. Wins and losses mean more than anything else. Doubling overall earnings from 2022 feels like a reasonable request and a step in the right direction.

We’d like to thank Brad again for joining us for five questions. Stay tuned for the Texans news next week as they go freehand as real players in the market for the first time in at least three seasons. If you’re in the Houston area, tune in to The Wheelhouse every afternoon, Monday through Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to hear Brad Kellner, Jake Asman and Cody Stoots share what they think about the future the Texans think.

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